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Concert Review: Sunrise Divine

On Sunday, February ninth, at 2:00 PM, I went to Heart/Beat by the Atlanta Ballet. Sunrise Divine was a gospel concert combined with ballet, and the way that Dwight Rhoden and Dr. Kevin P. Johnson merged these art forms was very well done. It was an excellent choice to make the concert live because it engaged the entire audience in a way that would not be achieved if it was not live. For me, I did not think ballet would be able to go well with these different types of music, but Rhoden proved me wrong with his choreography. Somehow, the movements of the contemporary ballet went well with the negro spirituals, the jubilee quartets, the 80’s gospel, and the fusions of black genres in gospel music at the end. I liked the Prologue most because it set the tone for the rest of the concert, and it is similar to what I grew up listening to in church.

I liked the Prologue most because it set the tone for the rest of the concert, and it is similar to what I grew up listening to in church. I also thought that the soloist for “Deep River,” Ann-Marie McPhail, did an excellent job performing the song. I felt that it was an incredibly moving song, and the dancer did well capturing that energy as well. This music is particular to black people, specifically because only they can convey the intention of the music of negro spirituals like “Deep River” and “Wade in the Water.” I also thought “Hallelujah” was a strong ending for the concert because it combined some of the forms seen in other songs in the show as well as ones we are learning in class. Overall, Sunrise DivineĀ went well as a concert as well as a ballet performance because the music conveyed the black experience throughout the years, and the dances accompanying it showed appreciation for that experience.

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